Mar 27, 2023

President Biden Addresses the Canadian Parliament Transcript

President Biden Addresses the Canadian Parliament Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsCanadian ParliamentPresident Biden Addresses the Canadian Parliament Transcript

President Biden Addresses the Canadian Parliament. Read the transcript here.

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Anthony Rota (01:24):

Mr. President, Dr. Biden, welcome to Canada, in the House of Commons. [foreign language 00:01:44].

Speaker 1 (01:44):

Prime Minister, Speaker Furey, ladies and gentlemen, party leaders, members of parliament, your excellent guests, allow me to welcome you to this very special event.

Anthony Rota (02:00):

On behalf of my colleagues, we are honored by your visit. As we come together under one roof, we take a moment to celebrate the friendship and the shared values of our countries. We celebrate our people and the history of cooperation between Canada and the United States. A prime example of this cooperation can be seen in my hometown, North Bay, in the [inaudible 00:02:24] of Nipissing–Timiskaming, where Canadian and American military personnel work side by side at NORAD to ensure our safety by patrolling the skies of North America. NORAD is proof that when Canadians and Americans venture to undertake a mission together, we accomplish great things, but more importantly, our great friendship grows. This visit reminds us all that we must never take our friendship, this cooperation, these shared values for granted. [foreign language 00:03:08].

Speaker 1 (03:09):

I would now like to invite the right honor roll prime minister to say a few words. Prime Minister.

Justin Pierre James Trudeau (03:25):

Thank you Mr. Speaker. Today we welcome to our parliament the 46th President of the United States of America, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Mr. President, you are a true friend to Canada and that matters more than ever in this consequential moment. Making no mistake, these are serious times. When the consequences of a warming planet are intersecting with the aftermath of a global pandemic. When an unjustifiable war in Europe has shocked the conscience of the world and exposed the vulnerability of energy markets and supply chains. When families are facing the pressures of inflation and struggling with affordability, when citizens around the world feel anxious about their future and their kids’ futures. Mr. President, as it should be, our two nations stand united in this moment, finding solutions side by side. [foreign language 00:04:35].

Speaker 2 (04:36):

We will continue to work together to create jobs and to build economies and societies that are healthier and more sustainable. The economy, the environment and security are interwoven and that has never been more clear.

Justin Pierre James Trudeau (04:57):

It has never been more clear that everything is interwoven. Economic policy is climate policy, is security policy. People need us to think strategically and act with urgency and that is exactly what brings us together today. Mr. President, throughout our history, Canada and the United States, as friends and allies have faced many challenges together, pandemics, recessions, wars. Here in this house in September 1939, members of Parliament debated going to war. A few years later, Canadian and American soldiers were fighting against fascism, shoulder to shoulder.

There are battlefields surround the world where our soldiers lie in cemeteries, shoulder to shoulder. War has now returned to Europe. As you well know, Mr. President, Canada will continue to stand strong with Ukraine, with whatever [inaudible 00:06:12]. Together, both of us are partners that Ukraine and the world can count on.

Since Putin launched his brutal invasion, like you, Canada has provided significant military support. In our case, artillery, ammunition, armor, and tanks. From 2015 to today with Operation Unifier, the Canadian Armed Forces train the brave members of the Ukrainian military, about 35,000 of them and counting. With partners and allies, we’ve both used sanctions and punitive economic measures to continue to deplete the Kremlin’s war chest. And after a terrifying spring, summer, and fall and an exhausting winter, Ukraine still stands. [foreign language 00:07:19].

Speaker 2 (07:18):

One year ago, our friend President Zelensky addressed this chamber to thank us for having supported him from the beginning. Today, Mr. President, together we reiterate that message for President Zelensky and all Ukrainians, we remain at your side. It is by defending democracy and the rules based international order that we will ensure the safety and security of Canadians and Americans. Vladimir Putin has underestimated the resolve of Europe and NATO allies. He is underestimated the strength and the courage of Ukrainians and their will to defend their language, their culture, and their homeland.

Justin Pierre James Trudeau (08:19):

Mr. President, today I want to introduce you to Natalia, who I met just last week. Natalia arrived in Canada from Ukraine more than 10 years ago. Give us a wave, Natalia. She arrived in Canada from Ukraine more than 10 years ago. She’s safe here with her family, but she still has a lot of loved ones in Ukraine. Every time she hangs up after speaking with a cousin or a friend, she feels a twinge in her heart, wondering if this conversation might be their last. Mr. President, we cannot and will not let Natalia’s loved ones down. The Ukrainian people are counting on us. We must stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine with as much as it takes, as long as it takes. But I bring up Natalia now, not just because of what’s happening over in Ukraine as we speak, but also because she’s key to what we’re building here today and tomorrow. [foreign language 00:09:56].

Speaker 2 (09:57):

I met Natalia in Nova Scotia last week, she currently lives near Bridgewater, which is a small town of some 9,000 people. For over 50 years, the Michelin Tyre plant in Bridgewater has been one of the most high performing facilities in the world. It thanks to the strength of the workers there that Michelin has just announced major investments to modernize facilities, in order to respond to the growing demand for electric vehicles. Good, stable jobs like the ones at that plant truly count for Natalia and her family, and they also count for our large and small communities.

Justin Pierre James Trudeau (10:41):

When I was there in Nova Scotia meeting with Natalia and others, I met third generation tire workers at that Michelin plant. And because of the work that we are doing together and investments we’re making for the future, that community will have jobs for generations more to come. And that doesn’t just impact them in Bridgewater, it means there will continue to be vans delivering food to grocery stores in California and trucks delivering medical supplies to hospitals in Pennsylvania, that roll on tires made in Nova Scotia, as it should be.

Mr. President, in 1987, Ronald Reagan addressed this house in a final big push towards the first Canada/US Free Trade Agreement. He pointed out that the US/Canadian border was a meeting place rather than a dividing line. More than 30 years later, our border is no longer just the place where we meet each other, it’s the place where we will meet the moment. It’s a place where we will meet the future, a future not only with good jobs, but good stable careers for generations to come. See, we’re also joined today by steel workers from Dofasco in Hamilton. One of them is Neil. Why don’t you stand up, Neil.

You see, Neil’s mother worked at Dofasco in the ’70s. His father worked in the finishing steel area for 37 years. Now with the investments we’ve made to help Dofasco phase out coal-fired steel making in favor of electric arc, Neil’s kids and grandkids and great grandkids will be able to choose careers, making the clean steel the world needs to build EVs, buildings and bridges. Clean steel will be the backbone from manufacturing in the future, and workers like Neal from generations past to generations future will continue to be at the heart of the economy we’re building for the middle class.

See, economic policy is climate policy, is security policy. With growing competition, including from an increasingly assertive China, there’s no doubt why it matters that we turn to each other now to build up a North American market on everything from semiconductors to solar panel batteries. Mr. President, with the Inflation Reduction Act, you’re creating the jobs of today and tomorrow for the middle class in America. And this also means more clients for Canadian critical minerals processors, for our clean energy innovators, for our integrated auto workers, for our farmers, growers and producers and so many others. It’s an example of how we can make progress at home and as partners. [foreign language 00:14:20].

Speaker 2 (14:22):

To support good jobs in the economy of the future, Canada has one of the greenest electrical grids in world. Some 83% of our electricity is already [inaudible 00:14:36]. And we are on target to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035. To do so, we are working with local communities, including projects and by indigenous communities across the country, whether it be for solar panels or wind turbines, and all of our clean electricity exports go to

Justin Pierre James Trudeau (15:00):

The United States. Worldwide we must all accelerate our transition to renewable energy. This week, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a new report showing that our planet will achieve a critical threshold in terms of climate change over the coming decade. That means more heat waves, more drought, more floods, and more endangered species.

[inaudible 00:15:36] I met on the Atlantic Coast last fall, who saw their houses being torn to pieces by Hurricane Fiona. When I think of the people of Lytton, BC whose town burned because of a wildfire during a record breaking heat wave, I know that responsible leadership means doing more to fight climate change. More to protect families. Climate policy is economic policy, is security policy.

As leaders, our people’s security is our top priority. Not only do we have to keep up the good work, we have to do more and faster. And I know you agree, Mr. President. I remember our discussion in 2016 on climate change. When you were here in Canada as a vice president. You met with the premiers of the provinces and territories. As well as with indigenous leaders. That same day at the First Ministers’ meeting, our government adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change which essentially puts a nationwide price on pollution.

I’m please to be your host again today, knowing that environmental protection remains one of your top priorities.

Mr. President, what makes this such a moment of consequence is that our world, our way of living is facing multiple threats at the same time. That’s why security policy is climate policy, is economic policy. Because climate change, inflation, war, energy shortages, but also foreign interference, misinformation and disinformation and constant attacks on our values and institutions, all compound. Democracies like ours, just like democracies around the world, didn’t happen by accident. And won’t continue without effort.

We have to stick together. We have to continue to face down authoritarian threats both at home and abroad. We have to continue to defend what is right. This is not the time to compromise on our values.

This is not a moment to compromise on our values. This is a moment to double down on them. We must continue to show resilience, perseverance, and strength. Resilience, perseverance, and strength. These are words that perfectly describe two men who are here with us today, Michael Coverick and Michael Spavor.

Mr. President, when the plane transporting the two Michaels landed on Canadian soil after more than a thousand days of arbitrary detention in China, Canadians proved that resilience, perseverance, and strength are more than just lofty ideals. They’re commitments that drive our actions and shape our character. Canada got the two Michaels home and we did it the right way. Not just by respecting the rule of law, but by anchoring ourselves to it.

When under great pressure to undermine our commitment to our agreements and treaties and to the rule of law, we did not capitulate, we did not abandon our values. We doubled town and we rallied our allies against arbitrary detention. And through that, with your support and your leadership, Mr. President, the rule of law prevailed and the [inaudible 00:20:42] came home. Together with our allies and partners, Canadians and Americans have to remain a source of inspiration to the rest of the world. But above all, we have to keep up the good work. Every day we have to do what needs to be done to build a better future for people like [inaudible 00:21:27] Neil and Natalia, their kids and grandkids. We must and we will meet this moment. Mr. President, in your most recent powerful State of the Union, you encourage the American people to stay optimistic, hopeful, and forward looking. Well, this is a vision that Canadians share too. So let’s keep working hard and together let’s continue to build a better future for our people. Welcome to Canada, my friend. Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden.

Joe Biden (22:05):

Good afternoon. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you. Good afternoon. [foreign language 00:22:43] Canada. Good afternoon, Canada.

I must tell you, I took four years of French in school. First time I attempted to make a speech in French I was laughed at. So that’s as good as I can get right now. But seriously, thank you very, very much. Speaker of the House of Commons, speaker of the Senate, member of the Parliament. Thank you for the very kind. Welcome to my wife and I. Prime Minister Trudeau you were my first meeting with a foreign leader just one month after my presidency. During the hardest days of COVID-19. We had to make a visit virtual. But since then, we’ve been all over the world taking on some of the toughest issues our nations have faced in a very long time.

I want to thank you for your partnership and for your personal friendship. I thank you very much. Jill and I are grateful for the hospitality that you and Sophie have shown us. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m honored to have the opportunity to uphold a tradition carried out by so many of my predecessors addressing the hallowed halls of the Canadian democracy. Although this is a different hall. You’ve done a hell of a job here. This is really beautiful. It’s really very beautiful. This is a custom that speaks to the closeness of our relationship. Americans and Canadians are two people, two countries, in my view sharing one heart.

It’s a personal connection. No two nations on Earth are bound by such close ties. Friendship, family, commerce and culture. Our labor unions cross borders, so do our sports leagues. Baseball, basketball, hockey. Listen to this, hockey. I have to say I like your teams except the Leafs. I’ll tell you why. I’ll tell you why. I’ll tell you why. They beat the Flyers back in January. That’s why.

And if I didn’t say that… I married a Philly girl. If I didn’t say that, I’d be sleeping alone fellas. I like you, but not that much. To take a partnership between Canada and the United States as a given. But when you stop and think about, it’s really a wonder. 5,552 mile long border. More than 8,800 kilometers defined by peaceful commerce, trading relationships that measure more than $2.5 billion a day. Every day, hundreds of thousands of people cross the borders going in north and south just to visit knowing they’ll find a warm welcome on the other side of the border.

Americans love Canadians, and that’s not hyperbole. It’s a data-driven fact. Early this week, the Gallup poll did a new poll showing American opinions on different countries in the world. This is a fact. Canada ranked at the very top, 88% favorable rating among Americans. Up from 87% the year before. I take credit for that one point.

But I suspect every politician in this room would do a hell of a lot to get those kind of numbers. But there’s a reason for it. The same fundamental aspiration reverberate across both our nations. From the Atlantic to the Pacific. To live in freedom. Not just [inaudible 00:27:12] with dignity. With dignity. To relentlessly pursue the possibilities of tomorrow. To leave our children and our grandchildren a future that’s better because of our efforts. The people in this room and similar room in the United States. President Kennedy said when he spoke here in 1961, and I quote, he said, “Ours is the unity of equal and independent nations. Co-tenets of the same [inaudible 00:27:42], heirs of the same legacy. And fully sovereign associates in the same historic endeavor to preserve freedom for ourselves and for all who wish it.” For all who wish it.

For more than a century of that historic endeavor, Canada and the United States have had each other’s backs in war and in peace. We have been the stronghold of liberty, safeguard for the fundamental freedoms that give us our lives. Literally, give our lives meaning. We have gladly stepped into the responsibilities of global leadership because we understand all that is at risk for Canadians and Americans alike when freedom is under attack anywhere in the world. Today, our destinies are intertwined and they’re inseparable.

Not because of inevitability of geography, but because it’s a choice. A choice we’ve made again, and [inaudible 00:28:41] the United States chooses to link our future with Canada because we know that we’ll find no better partner. And I mean this from the bottom of my heart, no more reliable ally. No more steady friend. And today I say to you, and to all the people of Canada, that you will always, always be able to count on the United States of America. I guarantee it.

Together we have built a partnership that is an incredible advantage to both our nations. That doesn’t mean we never disagree, as any two countries will do from time to time. But when we disagree, we solve our differences in friendship and in goodwill. Because we both understand our interests are fundamentally aligned as we stand at this inflection point in history, that a professor who once explained an inflection point, as you’re going down the highway 60 miles an hour and you rapidly turn in one direction five degrees,

Joe Biden (30:00):

… you never get back on the same path again, but you’re on a different course, where the decisions we make in the coming years will determine the course of our world for decades to come. It happens every five or six generations, but we’re at that point.

Nothing gives me greater confidence in the future than knowing Canada and the United States stand together still. Today, I’d like to speak to a little bit about the future, if I may – a future that’s ours to seize. I get criticized at home sometimes for saying that – I used to always – Barack – President Obama used to always kid me because I’d always say to him in our private meetings, “A country is never more optimistic than its president or its leaders.”

Well, I have never been more optimistic in my life about the prospects – I really mean this, from the bottom of my heart. We are so well… A future built around our shared responsibilities, prosperity, security, shared values.

First, it’s a future built on shared prosperity, where Canada and the United States continue to anchor the most competitive, prosperous, and resilient economic region in the world. That’s a fact. That’s just a fact. Where our supply chains are secure and reliable from end to end because we’re creating the value at every step right here in North America. We’re mining critical minerals to manufacturing and packaging the most advanced semiconductors in the world, to producing electric vehicles and clean energy technology together.

A future where we understand that economic success is not in conflict with the rights and dignity of workers or meeting our responsibilities addressing the climate crisis, but rather those things depend on us doing that. Depend on us doing that. Factually.

Since becoming president, I’ve been laser focused on rebuilding the US economy from the bottom up and the middle out. Not a whole lot trickle down from the top down at my dad’s kitchen table. And by the way, when the middle class does well, the wealthy do very well. No one gets hurt.

And the United States made historic – and to the chagrin some of our critics in the press – bipartisan investments in infrastructure – in infrastructure, innovation that are already bringing together and delivering concrete benefits to the American people. And as we implement these legislative achievements, there are enormous opportunities for Canada and the United States to work even closer together to create good paying jobs in both our countries.

The Inflation Reduction Act – which I admit wasn’t bipartisan, but nonetheless, all of a sudden I’m finding we have more adherence – represents a single largest commitment in tackling climate in our history. As a matter of fact, the single largest investment in all of human history. And it’s going to spur clean energy investments all over the world and explicitly – explicitly it includes tax credits for electric vehicles assembled in Canada, recognizing… There’s a simple reason – recognizing how interconnected our auto industries are and our workers are.

I am the most pro-union president America’s ever had. And I speak to a hell of a lot of Canadian union members. Look, this is a model for future cooperation, with both our nations investing at home to increase the strength of our industrial basis, making sure the products manufactured in North America are not only manufactured but they’re the best in the world.

We’re going to amplify our shared commitment climate action while growing our economies. If I could just stop for just a second and say, when I announced for president, I was always known as one of those kind of green Democrats, and Republicans used to be the same, in my place. Well, guess what? I didn’t announce my environmental plan, and I was getting beat up. “Why is Biden all of a sudden changing?”

Well, the reason is I brought all the unions together. I brought them in to the White House. Not a joke. Because they all said, “We’re going to lose our jobs.” And I pointed out: Guess what? Every single solitary initiative required to deal with the environment creates union jobs, creates thousands of jobs, thousands of jobs.

For example, I met with the IEBW and pointed out we’re going to build 5,500 electric charging stations. Guess who builds them? Union workers. So, look, we’re coordinating a standard for new electric vehicles and charging stations so Americans and Canadians can continue to easily cross the border without ever hitting a snag in their American – or Canadian – built zero-emission vehicles.

Moreover, we’re going to build batteries and technologies that go into those vehicles together. We’ve learned the hard way during the pandemic that when we rely on just in time supply chains that circle the globe, there are significant vulnerabilities to disruptions and delays. And it drives up cost here at home, to both Canada and the United States. But there’s a better way.

Our nations are blessed with incredible natural resources. Canada in particular has large quantities of critical minerals that are essential for our clean energy future – for the world’s clean energy future. And I believe we have an incredible opportunity to work together so Canada and the United States can source and supply here in North America everything we need for reliable and resilient supply chains.

And folks, to help make our critical mineral supply chains the envy of the world, the United States is making funding available under the Defense Production Act to incentivize American and Canadian companies to responsibly mine and process critical minerals needed for electric vehicles and stationary storage batteries.

We’re also building integrated supply chains for our semiconductors. A critical computer chip that I might note was invented in America and then we lost control of it. We not only controlled them, we lost producing them. And that power so much of our daily lives. The IBM plant in Bromont, Quebec, is the larger semiconductor packaging and testing facility in North America.

Chips made it Vermont and upstate New York are shipped to Bromont to be packaged in electronic components. But now Bromont is expanding with the support of the Canadian government. And there’s going to be a lot more work to do thanks to the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act I signed and law last year, companies are breaking ground for new semiconductor plants across the United States, representing billions of dollars in new investments in American high-tech manufacturing.

$12 billion from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in Arizona. $20 billion and counting for intel in Ohio. $100 billion in New York, the single largest investment of its kind ever in the world. When chips began to roll off these new production lines in America, a lot of them are going to be coming to Canada to be packaged. And that’s a lot of jobs – good paying jobs.

And today, I’m also making available through the Defense Production Act, $50 million to incentivize more US and Canadian companies to invest in packaging semiconductors and printed circuit boards. Look, that brings me to a second pillar of our future because our shared prosperity is deeply connected to our shared security.

In the past – and the past years have proven that – Canada and the United States are not insulated from the challenges that impact the rest of the world. The world needs Canada and the United States working together with our partners around the world to rally strong and effective global action.

Nowhere is that more obvious than our united response to Russian’s brutal aggression against Ukraine. We’ve stood together. We’ve stood together to defend sovereignty, to defend democracy, to defend freedom for ourselves and all who wish it. As I told President Zelensky when I visited with him in Kyiv last month, people all over the world are with the brave people in Ukraine. And you have to ask yourself: Aren’t you amazed of the personal bravery they’re showing? It’s incredible. It’s incredible.

And, folks, I know there’s a large Ukrainian diaspora here in Canada – not just the lovely lady we were all introduced to a moment ago – who feel the same way. Canada and the United States, together with a coalition of 50 nations we’ve jointly worked to put together are making sure the Ukraine can defend itself.

We’re supplying air defense systems, artillery systems, ammunition, armored vehicles, tanks, and so much more. Tens of billions of dollars so far. Together with our G7 partners, we’re imposing significant cost on Russia’s well, denying Russia critical inputs to its war machine. We’re independently holding Russia accountable for the war crimes and crimes against humanity that Russia has committed and continues to commit as I speak today.

And Canada and America alike have opened their arms to Ukrainian refugees. Our people know well the high price of freedom. Our Peace Tower – your Peace Tower stands testament to the sacrifices of more than 60,000 brave Canadians who perished in World War I, forever making this nation the champion of liberty.

And the words of a Canadian poet, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, still call to us from Flanders Field, echoing their charge through the ages. And I quote it: To you from falling – from failing – excuse me – “To you from failing hands we throw the torch to you to hold it high.” So, today, let’s once more affirm that we’re going to keep that torch of liberty burning brightly and support the Ukrainian people.

Putin was certain he would’ve been able to break NATO by now. He was certain of that. But guess what? His lust for land and power has failed thus far. Ukrainian people love of their country is going to prevail. In the face of President Putin’s aggression against Ukraine, Canada and the United States are also making clear our commitment to our NATO allies. We’ll keep our alliance strong and united. We’ll defend every inch of NATO territory. An attack against one is an attack against all.

And as we look forward to the 75th anniversary of NATO next year, Canada and the United States share responsibility and a commitment to make sure NATO can deter any threat, defend against any aggression from anyone. That’s the bedrock of the security of both our nations. Canada and the United States are not only partners in transatlantic security, we are Pacific nations as well.

Earlier this month, we held our first US-Canadian Indo-Pacific Dialogue to deepen our cooperation in the vital region to promote an Indo-Pacific that is free and open and prosperous and secure. We’re also an Arctic nation. We both recognize the critical importance of this region to our collective security and the interest of other nations all of a sudden in the Arctic.

We’re working in close coordination to steward and protect the northernmost reaches of our world. And we are American nations, deeply invested in ensuring that the Western Hemisphere is peaceful, prosperous, democratic, and secure. And that starts with our commitment to defending our people and our own sovereign territory.

NORAD is the only binational military command in the world. NORAD is the only binational military command in the world. Yet another way in which our partnership is exceptional. It is an incredible symbol of the faith we have in one another and the trust we place in each other’s capabilities.

Soon, NORAD will have a new next-generation over-the-horizon radars to enhance our early warning capacity, upgraded undersea surveillance systems, modernized infrastructure that is necessary to host the most advanced aircraft. And I’m looking forward to continuing to work in close partnership with Canada as we deliver on these needs so that our people can continue to rest soundly knowing NORAD is in the watch.

Folks, we are. We’re also coordinating closely to take on the human security challenge throughout

Joe Biden (45:00):

… at the region. We’re working in partnership with the people of Haiti, to try to find ways to provide security and humanitarian assistance, and to help strengthen Haiti’s stability. We’re tackling the scourge of synthetic drugs that are devastating Canada and American communities, particularly our young people. Fentanyl is a killer. And almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by this, lost a child or lost a friend. Canada and the United States are working closely with our partner in Mexico to attack this problem at every stage, from the precursor chemicals shipped from overseas, to the powders, to the pills, to the traffickers moving into all of our countries. And we all know synthetic opioid epidemic has its roots around the globe, not just here. So today we’re announcing a commitment to build a new global coalition of like-minded countries led by Canada and the United States to tackle this crisis. This is about public health. This is about public health.

This is about public health, our economic futures, our national security. We’re also working together to address the record levels of migration in the hemisphere. The Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, which the United States and Canada signed last June along with 19 other nation, represents an integrated new approach to the migration challenge, which is real. One thing unites humane policies at both secure borders and support people. In the United States, we’re expanding legal pathways for migration to seek safety on a humanitarian basis, while discouraging unlawful migration that feeds exploitation and human trafficking. So today I applaud China for stepping up. Excuse me, I applaud Canada. You can tell what I’m thinking about China. I won’t get into that yet. I applaud Canada for stepping up with similar programs, opening new legal pathways for 1500 migrants to come to Canada from countries in the Western hemisphere. At the same time, the United States and Canada will work together to discourage unlawful border crossing and fully implement and the updated safe third country agreement.

Finally, as we advance our shared prosperity and security, we must never lose sight of our shared values, because our values literally the linchpin holding everything else together. Welcoming refugees and seeking asylum seekers is a part of who Canadians and Americans are. In fact, the United States recently launched a new private sponsorship program for refugees. We call it Welcome Corps, which draws on Canadians’ decades of leadership and refugee resettlement, where both countries built upon the nation-to-nation relationship with Native Americans and First Nations.

We have both been influenced and strengthened by the contributions of generation of immigrants. We believe to our core that every single person deserves to live in dignity, safety, and rise as high as their dreams can carry them. We strive to defend human rights, to advance equality and gender equality, to pursue justice and uphold the rule of law. I want to note the outstanding work Canada has done to build a coalition in nearly 70 countries, endorsing the declaration against arbitrary detention in state-to-state relations. It’s not only a statement of values, our citizens are not bargaining chips. They’re not diplomatic leverage. They’re human beings with lives and families that must be respected. And I’m very glad to see that two Michaels. The two Michaels, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig.

They’re safely back to their families after more than 1000 days in detention. If my mother were here, she’d say, “God bless you both.” Thank you for joining us today, and thank you for having an opportunity to meet you earlier. The incredible diversity that defines each of our nations is our strength. And the Prime Minister Trudeau, and I know this is a belief that you and I share. We both build administrations that look like America and look like Canada. I’m very proud. I’m very proud that both of us have cabinets that are 50% women for the first time in history. Even you don’t agree, guys, I’d stand up.

We took the lesson from you, because the bottom line is this. We make it easier for historically underrepresented, underserved communities to dream, to create and succeed, we build a better future for all our people. So let’s continue the work. Where there are no barriers, things look better. Where there are barriers to equal opportunity, we got to tear them down. Where inequity stifles potential, where we unleash the full power of our people, where injustice holds sway, let’s insist on justice being done. Those are the shared values that imbue all of our efforts, our very democracy, our vitality, and our vibrancy. It’s what drives us all. Some places and some persons are forgetting what the essence of democracy is. We have to reach. So what allows us to reach beyond the horizon? Let me close with this. The year after President Kennedy spoke in Canada’s parliament, he delivered a famous speech at Rice University, issuing a challenge for America to go to the moon in a decade’s time.

And you remember what he said? You probably do, because we had to learn it when we were in school. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do other things, not because it’s easy, but because they’re hard. Because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one that we’re unwilling to postpone, and one which we will win.” That speech tapped into something deep in America’s character, something powerful, a belief that we can do big things. Hold a second, just think about it.

Turn on the television the last two years, whether it’s in your country or mine. After two years of COVID, people began to wonder, “Can we still do big things? Big things.” We sure in hell can. That confidence, I believe with every fiber of my being, that confidence can make the most audacious dreams reality. And less than seven years after Kennedy’s speech, the entire world watched humanity left its first footprints on those further shores. It inspired a generation, and spurred much of the technology advancement we now enriches our daily lives. Today, our world wants more, stands at the cusp of breakthroughs and possibilities that have never before even been dreamt of. And Canada and the United States are leading, will continue to lead the way.

In just a few days, NASA is going to announce an international team of astronauts who will crew the Artemis 2 mission. The first human voyage to the moon since Apollo mission ended more than 50 years ago, will consist of three Americans and one Canadian. We choose to return to the moon together. Together we return to the moon.

And from there, we look forward to Mars, and to the limitless possibilities that lie beyond. And here on Earth, our children who watch that flight are going to learn the names of those new pioneers. They’ll be the ones who carry us into the future we hope to build. The Artemis generation. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re living in an age of possibilities. Xi Jinping asked me in the Tibetan Plateau, could I define America? And I could have said the same thing if he asked about Canada. I said, “Yes. One word, and I mean it. One word, possibilities.” Nothing is beyond our capacity. We can do anything. We have to never forget. We must never doubt our capacity. Canada and the United States can do big things. We stand together, do them together, rise together. We’re going to write the future together. I promise you. God bless you all, and may God protect our troops. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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